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“Godfather of Grass” Johnny Boone Deported from Canada to Face Charges in United States

Boone was the head of the Cornbread Mafia, the 1980s' largest marijuana syndicate

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The elusive head of a 1980s marijuana syndicate, best known as “The Godfather of Grass,” has been deported from Canada in order to face drug charges in the US. 73-year-old John Robert “Johnny” Boone was convicted in the 1980s for allegedly running the Cornbread Mafia, which federal prosecutors called the “largest domestic marijuana syndicate in American history.” Authorities said that this group had 29 illegal pot farms all across the Midwest.

Boone was arrested and came up for federal sentencing in 1988, where he told the court about how living in poverty in Kentucky led him into a life of crime. “With the poverty at home, marijuana is sometimes one of the things that puts bread on the table,” he testified. “We were working with our hands on earth God gave us.”

Boone spent a decade in prison, but was arrested on federal marijuana charges again in 2008. But before law enforcement could close in, Boone disappeared.  Federal agents said that attempting to arrest him was like “trying to catch a ghost.”

After nine years on the run, Canadian police arrested Boone in Montreal in December, and turned him over to US authorities this week. He is currently being held in Burlington, Vermont, while awaiting transfer to Kentucky to face the federal charges.